A new study has found that there might be more weight lent to the notion that families who use dishwashers raise their kids allergy and asthma risk, thanks to the things that their children are, or aren’t being exposed to. Allergies and asthma are two things that are becoming growing problems here in the United States and finally research is being conducted to really get to the bottom of the hypothesis that families who wash dishes by hand ultimately have less allergic children. All of this really revolves around the “hygiene hypothesis,” which states that early exposure to a rash of microbes actually better sets up the body for success as it grows. Essentially, making it stronger with time, and allowing it to build up natural immunities that keep the human body from attacking the good things that enter it. Which is what is happening when an allergic reaction occurs.

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“We have only tested an association between dishwashing methods and risk of allergy, but the findings fit well with the hygiene hypothesis. And there are studies showing that hand dishwashing very often is less effective than machine dishwashing in reducing bacterial content,” said Dr. Bill Hesselmar, an associate professor of allergy at Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg. Who also happened to be the lead author of this particular study. Ultimately, what the findings indicate is that while dishes might be left less clean, those families who use a dishwasher are leaving their children less prepared to battle the world of microbes.

The findings were included in the journal Pediatrics, and doesn’t necessarily lock up the notion that this is 100% fact, but it definitely sheds some light on a continued conversation that has been happening in the household safety space. At the end of the day, it’s important to note and look at all possibilities when it comes to maintaining the health and wellness of our youth – since so many new caveats are being found within the medical community. On one hand, science is improving – specifically medical science – but that doesn’t necessarily lock up the notion that human practice is running in synchronization with it. That also doesn’t mean that anyone should give up their dishwasher right now, since there is a lot of conversation that still has to take place around the subject – and many more studies that have to take place before any hard-lined facts can be counted.